Guide to Doing Business in Egypt

Business Incorporation


Typical Forms Of Business Structures In Egypt

The kinds of business firms allowed in Egypt are determined by the Law of Commerce No. 17 of 1999 and the Companies Law No. 159 of 1981. The Law of Commerce deals mainly with the sole proprietor and the simple partnerships, whereas the Companies Law regulates in detail joint stock companies, limited partnerships by shares, and limited liability companies. Each of these structures will be discussed below in details.

Sole Proprietorship


Formation

A sole proprietor (or sole trader) is a natural person, who engages in a commercial activity for his or her own account.
To be licensed as a sole proprietor, the person should apply to the competent Commercial Registration Office for registration in the Commercial Register. The important requirements for this registration are:

a. The applicant should be of at least 21 years old
b. The applicant should be of Egyptian nationality unless he or she will carry out his or her activity under the Investment Law (at present law no. 8 of 1997), or will engage in exporting activity.
c. The applicant should use his or her own name as a trade name. This trade name should appear on his or her business firm or shop and its branches (if any), and in all his or her business correspondence;
d. The applicant should provide the Commercial Registration Office with other relevant important data such as the nature of his or her trade or business, the trade capital (no minimum capital is required), the addresses of the main firm, shop or branches (if any) and details of trademarks or copyrights (if any).
Financial Requirements

The Law of Commerce requires from the sole proprietor whose trade capital is L.E. 20,000 or more to keep proper accounting books.

The annual profit (taxable profit) of the sole proprietor, together with any other taxable incomes he or she may have from other sources, shall be subject to the income tax:
- The first L.E. 5,000 0%
- More than L.E. 5,000 up to 20,000 10%
- More than L.E. 20,000 up to 40,000 15%
- More than L.E 40,000 20%

Simple Partnerships

Formation
The partnership is a kind of a business firm formed between two or more partners who are usually natural persons. There are two kinds of partnerships: the general partnership and the limited partnership. In the general partnership all the partners are considered as traders, and are jointly responsible to meet all the business liabilities or obligations without any limits. This means that if the partnership funds cannot meet its liabilities, creditors can recover their debts from the partners' private properties. The general partnership should have a trade name derived from the name(s) of one or more of its partners.

After concluding the partnership agreement the following is required to complete registration:
a. A copy of the partnership deed is published at the Court of First Instance where the partnership head office is located.
b. The partnership deed is published in two daily newspapers of wide circulation.
c. The partnership deed is registered in the Commercial Register (please refer to commercial registration requirements under the sole proprietor).
d. After completing the above registration, the partnership can start its commercial activity.

Management

In the limited partnership at least one of the partners is a general partner who is active and is considered a trader with full responsibility to meet the partnership's liabilities or obligations without any limits. Other partners, who are called limited partners, are inactive or sleeping partners, and their liability in meeting the business liabilities or obligations is limited by the amount of capital they have invested in the partnership, and no more. The trade name of the limited partnership is derived from the name(s) of one or more of its general partners.

Foreigners can participate in partnerships, but they do not have the right to manage the partnership nor to sign on its behalf, and their share in its capital cannot exceed 49%.

Financial Requirements

No minimum capital is required. Regarding taxation, the general and limited partnerships are subject to the same tax provisions. The profit of the partnership itself as a legal entity is not taxable, but the share of each partner (general or limited) of this profit together with any other taxable incomes he or she may have is subjected, separately from other partners, to the unified income tax at the progressive rate scale applicable to sole proprietors, i.e. between 10% and 20% in addition to the state resources duty at 2%. Again each partner of a partnership is required to enroll himself or herself in the state social insurance system as a self-employed person.

Registration of a partnership requires concluding an agreement (the deed) between the partners determining the partnership capital and the share of each partner (general or limited), the object (activity) of the partnership, its duration, and the appropriation of its profits or losses, etc.

Joint Stock Companies


Formation
The Egyptian joint stock company is similar in its main features to the same kind of companies existing anywhere else in the world. Thus, it is a regulated company whose capital is divided into shares, the liability of each shareholder is limited to the value of his or her shares, and the shares can be traded in the stock exchange.

The number of founders of a joint stock company should not be less than three founders, and consequently the number of shareholders cannot go below three at any time.

The shares of a joint stock company, private or public, can be fully owned by foreigners, but they have to pay the value of their shares in the company in foreign convertible currencies.
To form a joint stock company, the founders (or an attorney on behalf of them) should submit an application to the Companies Department with the following documents required:
a. A list of the founders' names and details.
b. For founders who are corporations, a resolution from each corporate body indicating participation in the new company.
c. For founders who are of foreign nationalities, relevant data is required in authenticated or legalized form such as nationality, address, work or activity, documents of incorporation, etc.
d. The memorandum of association and the draft of the articles of association of the new company.
e. A certificate from the Egyptian bank receiving the share capital payments, which shows that each founder and ordinary shareholder has paid at least 25%. This 25% can be paid on two installments: 10% before applying to the Companies Department, and the remaining 15% within three months following the registration of the company in the Commercial Register.
The Companies Department will submit the application and attached documents to a Special Committee for Company Formation which will review the application and the documents. If the application and documents are complete and within the requirements of the Egyptian law and public order, the Committee will issue a resolution approving the formation of the new company, and accordingly the memorandum and articles of association of the new company are published in the Companies Bulletin.
Subsequently, the founders will apply to the Commercial Registration Office to register the new company in the Commercial Register, after which the company will be fully incorporated and can start its activity. The incorporation of a joint stock company usually takes 4 to 5 weeks to complete.

Financial Requirements

The minimum issued share-capital of a closed or private joint stock company (i.e. the company which does not offer its shares for public subscription) is LE 250 000, and that of a company which offers its shares (or part thereof) to public is LE 1000 000 of which at least 50% must be subscribed by the founders. At least 25% of the share-capital is to be paid during foundation and the rest over a maximum of five years.
The shares of a joint stock company, whether it is a private or a public company, can be traded in the Egyptian Stock Exchange. However, in-kind shares and founders shares cannot be traded in the Stock Exchange before the lapse of two financial years from the incorporation of the company. A foreign shareholder can sell his shares in the Egyptian Stock Exchange and can repatriate the proceeds of the sale abroad without any restrictions, and free of any taxes or duties.

The accounts of any joint stock company should be audited by an Egyptian certified auditor appointed by the shareholders in their annual general meeting. Banks and mutual funds should have at least two certified auditors.
The annual net profit of a joint stock company has to be appropriated in accordance with the provisions of the Companies Law and the related executive regulations as follows:
a. At least 5% of the net profit is set aside as legal reserve; adding to this reserve will cease when its amount reaches 50% of the issued share-capital.

b. At least 5% of the paid-up capital is payable to shareholders (and employees) as a first distribution. Of the remaining profit, a maximum of 10% is deducted as remuneration to the board of directors. The remaining profit may be distributed to the shareholders (and employees) as a second distribution, carried forward to next year, or set aside in a special reserve account.

c. The employees are entitled to receive, as part of profit-sharing, 10% of the first and second distributions mentioned above, but with a maximum of 100% of their annual salaries. Therefore, the actual dividends to the shareholders would be the total of the first and second distributions excluding the employees' profit sharing. The dividends are payable to the shareholders free of any taxes or duties.

d. The dividends of the foreign shareholder can be repatriated abroad through one of the accredited banks in Egypt without any restrictions, and free of any taxes or duties.

e. The net profit of the joint stock company, adjusted according to the provisions of the tax Law, will be subject to the Egyptian corporate tax whose standard rate is approximately 20%. However, profits of the Suez Canal Authority, the Egyptian Petroleum Authority and the Central Bank will be taxed at 40%. Oil and Gas exploration and production companies are taxed at 40.55%.

Management

A joint stock company is managed by a board of directors composed of an odd number, which is not less than three. The board members, including the chairman, can be of foreign nationalities. The directors represent the shareholders in managing the company, and therefore are considered as attorneys or agents to the shareholders and not as employees of the company.

Each board member should own a number of the company shares called "directors' shares" of a value equal to L.E. 5000 unless the company's articles of association require a higher value. The value of the shares is based on the share's current value in the stock exchange, but if the shares are not on the stock exchange trading lists, the nominal value of the share will be the base for valuation. The directors' shares are deposited at one of the accredited banks in Egypt as a guaranty for good management, and cannot be disposed of as long as the board member is on the board.
The remuneration of the director, will be subject to an income tax same as applicable to sole proprietors.
Joint stock companies are supervised by the Companies Department to ensure its compliance with the Companies Law. However, companies dealing with securities (e.g. mutual funds, holding, venture capital and portfolio management companies) are supervised by the Capital Market Authority.

Limited Partnerships by Shares

Formation

The limited partnership by shares, or the "societe en commandite par actions" as called in France, is similar to the joint stock company with the exception that at least one of the founders has unlimited liability in meeting the company's financial liabilities. The company is prohibited from conducting the business of insurance, banking, or savings or investing funds on other people's behalf (Article 3 & 5 of the Companies Law).

Management

The company is managed by the founder(s) of unlimited liability without any direct participation from the other founders or ordinary shareholders of limited liability. The founder(s) of unlimited liability who is managing the company is called the "manager", but his or her legal status is similar to the director of the joint stock company and the provisions applicable to these directors apply as well to the managers of limited partnerships by shares. The name and scope of such partner manager's authority must be specified in the Memorandum of Association (Article 111 of the Companies Law).
The company must have a Supervisory Board made up of at least three persons, whose purpose is to supervise the actions of the manager(s). As such, this Supervisory Board may not be chosen from the partner manager(s). (Article 112 of the Companies Law).

Thus, each manager should allocate part of his or her shares of no less than L.E. 5000 for good management, and these shares should be deposited at one of the accredited banks in Egypt, and cannot be disposed of as long as the unlimited founder is a manager of the company. The remuneration of the manager (excluding the dividends on his or her shares) after certain deductions or reliefs is subject to salary tax at the same rate as applicable to sole proprietors. In the limited partnership by shares, there should be a supervisory board composed of at least three shareholders, or outsiders who are chosen by the shareholders. The supervisory board will monitor the actions of the manager(s) in running the company. In this respect, the supervisory board will have the right to ask the manager(s) to provide it with management reports, and it can review the company's accounting records, and count the cash, the inventories and other company assets. The supervisory board will also give opinion regarding matters that the manager(s) may seek the board's opinion on. In addition, the general meeting of shareholders cannot amend the company's deed without the approval of the manager(s), unless the deed stipulates differently.

In case of the manager's death, the company will dissolve, unless the company deed stipulates that it will continue.
Apart from the above differences, the provisions related to joint stock companies will apply to limited partnerships by shares.

Financial Requirements

The minimum share capital required of a limited partnership by shares is LE 250,000. The capital is divided into two categories: (1) shares owned by founder partners, and (2) shares of equal value belonging to shareholders. The founder partners have unlimited liability while the shareholders' liability is limited to the value of their respective shares (Article 3 of the Companies Law).
Limited Liability Companies 
Formation

The Egyptian limited liability company is a closed company where the liability of each of its partners is limited to the value of his or her shares (called quotas) in the company. The number of partners of a limited liability company cannot be less than two persons and cannot exceed fifty. The shares or quotas of the limited liability company cannot be traded in the stock exchange. The trade name of the limited liability company is usually derived from its object, but may also include the name(s) of one or more of its partners. Additionally, the words "Limited Liability Company" must be included in the name (Article 61of Ministerial Decision Implementing the Commercial Companies Law.)

The founding shareholders of the company must submit an application requesting permission to incorporate a limited liability company. The ministerial decision implementing the Commercial Companies Law outlines the mandatory provisions that must be included in the Memorandum of Association.
The company is incorporated once it is registered in the Commercial Register. The company must also maintain a Register of Partners in its head office, which must contain the names, nationalities, domiciles and occupations of the partners; the number of shares owned by each partner; the sum paid by each; and the assignment or transfer of shares and related relevant information (Article 275 of the Executive Regulation of the Companies Law).
Limited liability companies cannot raise funds (as capital or as loan) through public offering. Also such companies may conduct a variety of business activities, with the exception of insurance, banking, savings, receiving deposits or investing funds on behalf of others. (Article 5 of the Companies Law.)

Management

The management of a limited liability company may be assigned to one or more managers. At least one manager must be of Egyptian nationality (Article 281 of the ministerial decision implementing the Companies Law). The manager(s) must be named in the Memorandum of Association but need not be a shareholder(s). The manager(s) may be appointed for a definite term (which must be specified in the Memorandum of Association) or for an indefinite term. The manager(s) shall have full authority to represent the company; unless such authority is limited by the Memorandum of Association.

The manager of the limited liability company has the same legal status of the director of the joint stock company. The remuneration of the manager, after certain deductions, is subject to a salary at rates 10% and 2%
If the number of the partners of a limited liability company exceeds ten, the partners should form a supervisory board consisting of at least three of them. The supervisory board has the right to check the accounting records of the company, ask the managers to provide reports upon request, count the company's cash and other assets, and review the company's financial statements before being submitted to the partners' general meeting.
Apart from the above, the provisions related to joint stock companies apply to limited liability companies.

Financial Requirements

The minimum equity capital of a limited liability company is L.E. 50,000. The equity capital should be fully paid up on foundation. The nominal value of the share or quota cannot be less than L.E. 100.

The quotas cannot be traded in the stock exchange, however, any partner can sell his or her quotas to outsiders, given that he has already offered them to the other partners and they declined to buy them.

Foreigners can own 100% of the equity capital of a limited liability company, but they have to pay the value of their shares in foreign convertible currencies.

If a foreign partner(s) in a limited liability company wishes to repatriate his or her capital out of Egypt, he or she has to sell his or her quotas or liquidate the company (if he or she actually owns all or most of it), deposit the proceeds of sale or liquidation in an account at one of the accredited banks in Egypt, and the bank will realize the required repatriation of the funds, free of any taxes or duties.
A limited liability company which has a share-capital equal to or exceeding the minimum share-capital of a closed joint stock company (i.e. LE 250 000) has to allocate at least 10% of the profit to be distributed among its partners to its employees as profit-sharing, but with a maximum of 100% of their annual salaries.

Other Forms Of Business Structures Associated With Foreign Operations

In addition to the above, there are other forms of business incorporation associated with foreign operations such as representation offices, foreign branches and franchising.

Foreign Branches

Foreign companies are allowed to open branches in Egypt to carry out construction works, hotels management, commercial, financial and industrial activities or generally to execute works of contractual nature.

Following approval of the registration application, all foreign companies conducting activities in Egypt must register their office in the Commercial Register. Once registered at the Commercial Register, the foreign branch must also be registered at the centralized register of foreign companies kept at the Companies Department.

A manager should be appointed by the foreign company to manage its branch in Egypt, and to legally represent it in all matters related to its activity and existence. The manager can be of a foreign nationality. The manager may delegate others who are professionals or specialists to handle matters of complicated or specialized nature such as taxes, and legal disputes.

The remuneration of the manager is subject to an income tax called the salary tax whose rate is progressive ranging between 10% and 20%. If the manager is of Egyptian nationality, then he or she should enroll himself or herself in the state social insurance system as an employee. Enrolling in the social insurance system applies also to foreigners whose countries have reciprocal social insurance arrangement with Egypt.

The foreign branch should keep proper books of account as required by law, and should issue annual financial statements which should be audited by a certified Egyptian auditor.

At least 10% of the net profit of the branch should be allocated to employees as profit-sharing, but the amount of profit-sharing should not exceed 100% of the annual salaries of the employees.

The net profit of the foreign branch can easily be repatriated abroad if the branch has acquired enough foreign currency to do so. This also applies to the capital of the foreign branch.

The net profit of the foreign branch will be subject to the Egyptian corporate tax at the rate of 20%.
Establishing a branch of a foreign company in Egypt requires registration in the Commercial Registration Office. To register a branch of a foreign company, this company should first be awarded a contract to perform works in Egypt, such as a contract for construction works, hotel management, oil exploration, and the like.

Afterwards, the foreign company, or its attorney, will apply to the competent commercial registration office for registration of a branch with the following documents:

a. A copy of the contract awarded to the foreign company to perform works in Egypt with a recognized Arabic translation thereof.
b. A legalized copy of the memorandum and articles of association of the foreign company with a recognized Arabic translation thereof.

c. A legalized copy of the foreign company's board of directors' resolution to establish a branch in Egypt with a statement that the company has no other branches in Egypt.

d. Appoint a manager for the branch.
e. A certificate from one of the accredited banks in Egypt stating that the foreign company has transferred to the bank an amount in a foreign convertible currency equal to at least L.E. 5000 to be the branch's capital, and that this amount is deposited in a blocked account.

f. In case of construction works, a document indicating that the foreign company has been registered in the Egyptian Federation for Erection and Building Contractors as a correspondent.
g. A copy of the rental contract of the office of the branch in Egypt.

The registration fees of a foreign branch are about L.E 500. This is exclusive of the professional fees of an attorney. The establishment of a foreign branch usually takes about 2 to 3 months to complete.

Representation Offices

Foreign companies can establish in Egypt representation, liaison, or scientific offices. The object of such offices is limited to studying the Egyptian market and exploring the possibility for their companies to manufacture or carry out business in Egypt, but without actually performing any kind of commercial activity including commercial agency work, or performing any activity which may generate income.

Representation, liaison, or scientific offices should be registered at the Companies Department before they are allowed to work in Egypt.

However, foreign pharmaceutical companies may apply to the Ministry of Health to open scientific offices in Egypt and if the Ministry of Health approves their request, they may register their scientific offices at the Imports and Exports Control Authority (under the Ministry of Foreign Trade), instead of the Companies Department. This kind of registration allows scientific offices of pharmaceutical companies to make promotions in Egypt for their pharmaceutical products. Such scientific offices may also receive on behalf of their companies the royalty on the foreign pharmaceutical products, which are manufactured by Egyptian pharmaceutical companies by license from the foreign companies. Scientific offices may also receive a promotion allowance from the Egyptian pharmaceutical companies if they make the necessary promotions for the locally manufactured products by themselves.

The manager of the representation, liaison, or scientific office can be a foreigner. But the manager of a scientific office of a pharmaceutical company, which is registered at the Imports and Exports Authority, must be an Egyptian who is a licensed member of one of the medical professions in Egypt.

There is no minimum capital for a representation, liaison, or scientific office, but the funds required to establish any such office and to run it should be transferred from abroad in foreign convertible currency and deposited at one of the accredited banks in Egypt. However, scientific offices of pharmaceutical companies are allowed to use the royalties and promotion allowances accruing thereto as indicated above in meeting their expenses or part thereof.

Since representation, liaison, and scientific offices cannot exercise any commercial activity that could generate income, they are not subject to the corporate tax and their employees do not enjoy any profit-sharing rights.

However, the royalty accruing to the scientific offices of pharmaceutical companies is subject to a withholding tax at the rate of 20% or at a reduced rate if there is a tax treaty with the country of the foreign company, but the taxpayer in this case would be the foreign pharmaceutical company itself and not its scientific office. Promotion allowances received by the scientific offices are not subject to the corporate tax, as long as the total annual current expenses of the office exceed what it receives as promotion allowance.

On the other hand, the managers and employees of these offices are subject to the salary tax on the salaries and other remunerations they receive.

To register a representative office, the concerned foreign company, or its attorney, should submit an application to this effect to the Companies Department (or the Imports and Exports Control Authority in the case of scientific offices of pharmaceutical companies) with the following documents:
a. A legalized copy of the memorandum and articles of association of the foreign company with a recognized translation thereof.
b. A legalized copy of the company's board of directors' resolution to establish a representative office in Egypt to study the Egyptian market and explore production possibilities without being engaged in any trading or profit -oriented activities.
c. Appoint a manager for the representative office.
d. A certificate from one of the accredited banks in Egypt stating that the foreign company has a convertible foreign currency balance (no minimum amount is required) and that the currency has been transferred from abroad.
e. A certified check for L.E. 1000 as registration fees in the name of the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
f. A copy of the rental contract of the representative office in Egypt.
g. Registration of a representative office usually takes about one month to complete.

Franchising

A franchise is an agreement by which the owner of an intellectual right, a potential property, or a brand product who is called the "franchisor" gives another person called the "franchisee" the exclusive right to use or exploit this intellectual right or property, or to produce or just sell the brand product within a designated area for a remuneration which is commonly called a license fee or a royalty.

The license fee or royalty can take the form of a fixed amount of money payable by the franchisee to the franchisor for using the right during a specific period of time, or it can take the form of a percentage of the turnover or sales realized by the franchisee during a specific period of time, or it may combine between these two forms of remuneration.

A new law for Intellectual Property Rights No. 82 of 2002 was passed on June 2002; the new law applied the rules of the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights Agreement (TRIPS Agreement) and makes protection of intellectual profits under a franchise agreement more secure. Being a member of the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), Egypt is a signatory to a number of major international agreements such as Madrid international convention protecting trade and industrial marks.

According to the income tax law, royalties, license fees, or payments for know-how and the like are subject to the royalty tax at the rate of 20% without any deductions for costs or expenses. However, if the recipient of the royalty or the like is a resident of a country which has a tax treaty with Egypt the tax rate is usually reduced.

Importers, Commercial Agents & Contractors

Importation for trading purposes and commercial agency activity are both restricted to Egyptians or business firms wholly owned by Egyptians. Further details on the activities of importers, commercial agents, and contractors are given below.

Importation for Trading Purposes

Law no. 121 of 1982 on "Importers Register" requires that any natural or legal person wishing to import goods for trading purposes should, first of all, be registered in the Importers Register.
To register a natural person in the "Importers Register" the following requirements should be met: (Article 2)
a. He or she should be registered in the Commercial Register, and should have a tax card.

b. He or she should be of Egyptian nationality and if his or her Egyptian nationality was acquired, then at least ten years should have elapsed since acquiring it.

c. He or she should have carried commercial activities for at least two consecutive years (there are some exceptions to this rule).
d. He or she should have a clean criminal record.
e. He or she should not have been bankrupt, or if he or she was bankrupt, has now been rehabilitated.
f. His or her business capital amount should not be less than L.E. 10,000, with some exceptions.
g. If the person has been a civil servant performing works related to commercial activities, then at least two years should have elapsed since his or her leaving the civil service.

h. He or she should not be a member of the parliament, the advisory council, a local municipality, or fully engaged in political work, unless he has been undertaken such activities before being a member of such councils.
To register a partnership or a company in the "Importers Register" the following requirements should be met: (Article 2)
a. The partnership or company should be registered in the Commercial Register. For partnerships, the commercial registration should have taken place since at least one year, and the capital of the partnership should not be less than L.E. 15,000, but if its capital is L.E. 20,000 or more, then it is exempted from the one- year condition.

b. Its head office must be in Egypt.

c. Its object should include importation for trading purposes.

d. All the partners and managers of partnerships and all the managers of companies must be of Egyptian nationality, or at least ten years should have elapsed since acquiring it.

e. The general partners of partnerships, and the managers of companies must meet the requirements (d), (e), (g), and (h) applicable to natural persons.
Limited liability companies are treated the same as partnerships for registration purposes.
Importation of materials for manufacturing purposes, and importation of capital assets such as machines and transport means to be used in the activity of the business firm and not for trade, can be carried out directly by the concerned business firm without the involvement of a registered importer.

Commercial Agents

Law no. 120 of 1982 regulates commercial agencies. According to the law, foreign companies wishing to engage in any type of consulting or other services, or to tender on government agency bids (except sales to the Ministry of Defense) may do so only through a registered local agent or intermediary. A foreign company cannot establish in Egypt a scientific, technical, consulting office, or any similar kind of offices unless it appoints an Egyptian commercial agent. Also, any foreign company wishing to store its goods in Egypt for the purpose of selling or distributing them must appoint an Egyptian commercial agent to carry out these activities.
To work as a commercial agent or intermediary, the person must be either an Egyptian national or an Egyptian juristic entity whose name has been registered at the "Commercial Agents Record" or "Intermediaries Register" at the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
Registration in the record requires also the submission of the commercial agency contract showing the nature of work of the commercial agent, and the responsibilities of the principal and the agent, the percentage of the agency commission, the conditions for paying it to the agent and the currency of payment. Registration in the "Commercial Agents Record" must be renewed every five years. Furthermore, the Commercial Agencies Law requires that each agency agreement contain a specific obligation by the foreign principal to inform the appropriate Egyptian embassy or consulate (in the foreign principal's home country) of any amendments to the agreement.
Principals must report to the tax department details of payments of commissions made to commercial agents and intermediaries within one month of each payment. On the other hand, the commercial agent must keep proper books of account and record therein all the commissions received and the banks in which they are deposited.

Foreign Contractors


As already mentioned, if a foreign contracting/ construction company is awarded a contract to perform works in Egypt it must register a branch, and appoint a manager for this branch. If the owner of the works requires that the works be executed by a joint venture or a consortium made of two or more contractors, then the foreign contractors in the joint venture or the consortium would still be required to register branches in Egypt.
Alternatively, a foreign contracting / construction company may choose to establish an Egyptian company in Egypt usually in the form of a joint stock company, or limited liability company. In this case the foreign company would not be required to obtain a local contract to be able to establish the company, but can establish the company then search for works in Egypt. Usually foreign contracting / construction companies seek to establish the Egyptian company together with well known Egyptian contracting / construction companies for better penetration into the Egyptian market, and to secure better cooperation and expertise in performing the local works.

Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs)

In June 2002, the People's Assembly ratified a new law regulating the work of non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The law is largely identical to a 1999 law, which was annulled because it had not been passed to the Shura Council, Egypt's upper parliamentary house, for approval. Under the new law, the government determines how NGOs are run and requires that NGOs obtain the government's permission to receive funds from abroad. The law gives the Social Affairs Ministry the sole authority to approve new NGOs or to withdraw approval of existing ones.